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Title: Public art interventions in Northern Cyprus : communication and interaction in disconnected communities
Author: Garip, Aycan
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 0628
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2017
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Drawing on a relational understanding of art developed in the 20th century, this practice-led study explores how public art interventions provide insights into social, cultural, and political divides within fragmented communities, public visibility and representation for marginalized individuals and groups, and alternative views to the contextual norm. Situated within historical and critical contexts, and the ‘local’ setting of Northern Cyprus, this study explores components of public art interventions in relation to their ‘successful’ practice. Northern Cyprus has been influenced politically, socially, and culturally by Turkey, the only country to recognise the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, since before the division of Cyprus. Conflict arising from the adoption of respective national identities caused separation of Greek Cypriots from Turkish Cypriots on the island. Varying views on the imposition of national and religious values upon Turkish Cypriots have marginalized progressive, alternative, and liberal lifestyles and ways-of-thinking. Unlike conventional platforms, public art interventions have the potential to attract attention to narratives surrounding social, political, and cultural issues isolated from traditional public platforms. The fieldwork consists of intervention-participants and the researcher-as-participant collaboratively and collectively creating public art interventions within varying contexts, using sound, performance, posters and stencils, situated in public spaces in Northern Cyprus, followed by the observation and documentation of postintervention participants’ engagement and interaction. The researcher-as-participant, using ethnographic interviewing methods, conversed with post-intervention participants about their intervention experience, providing a basis for hermeneutic analysis within the local context. Findings reveal that public spaces can be utilized as platforms accessible to all members of a community, making visible narratives deviating from those dominating traditional private and public platforms, narratives in which public art intervention practices reclaim the right to public space by marginalized and alternative communities excluded from the ‘public sphere’. Interventionists’ emic understanding of social, cultural, and political references can create form and content within a context that is inclusive of its audience, leading to successful public art intervention practices. Not every public art intervention has the same degree of success, and it is only through the careful articulation of form, content, and context that the practice is able to instigate thought and discussion surrounding the subject matter of the intervention beyond the practitioners’ circle.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available